This international workshop aims to bring together scholars within the social sciences and humanities working on human-animal issues, and in particular the question of animal housing/animal husbandry.
The various things humans do with and to other animals often depend crucially on the physical infrastructures with which we order and regulate the movement of the animal – not least on systems of housing and husbandry. Just as there could be no Sea World without large scale aquariums, stadium-scale seating, or plaque-infested pathways; and no lab animal experiments without sterilized animal houses, cages, or labyrinths; there could be no factory farming without battery cages, animal mass-transports, or conveyor-belt slaughterhouses. In the same way, “free-range animals” would be impossible without … a range.
As Reviel Netz has argued in his book, Barbed Wire (2004), humans are often set on ordering the movement of animals, and in many cases, we use no more than steel wire to accomplish this task. Many systems of animal housing are surprisingly simple; the battery cage is not much more than steel wire assembled in a particular way. In other cases, however, the physical structures in which we house, transport, treat, experiment on, kill, and disassemble animals are highly complex, even advanced. Human-animal relations are made even more complex by the fact that those physical infrastructures are intertwined with practical ones. As Adele Clarke & Joan Fujimura pointed out in The Right Tools for the Job (1994), building technoscientific infrastructures involves work and craftsmanship with both animals and technologies, producing complex arrangements of practices, skills and structures. Donna Haraway has in related ways discussed in When Species Meet (2008) how instrumental “work” relations between humans and animals produce multiple and complex forms of relationships and realities.
This workshop focuses on the physical infrastructures in which we house and otherwise discipline animals, as well as on the practices and politics that develop in and around these infrastructures. As such, it aims to build upon and further develop the work done on human-animal and technology-nature within the broader fields of animal studies and STS. Animal housing infrastructures involve and regulate the movement and practices of people, including the ways in which humans and animals come to relate to each other. How do systems of animal housing, and the physical infrastructures that surround central human-animal practices more generally, come into being? What kind of practices and relations develop around these physical structures? By whom and for whom are they developed?
For this workshop, we aim to attract scholars from animal studies, STS, history of science and related fields to present original research on the matter and meaning of our politics and techniques of housing animals. One important purpose of the workshop is to identify relevant papers to be included into a planned anthology.
KEN NOTE SPEAKERS
Henry Buller, Professor of Geography, University of Exeter.
Carrie Friese, Dr., Lecturer in Sociology, London School of Economics.
Timothy Pachirat, Assistant Professor of Politics,The New School for Social Research, NY.
Limited number of places. Participants will be selected based on abstract submissions. Participation is free, but travel and accommodation fees must be covered individually. The conveners will provide lunch and other refreshments.
Deadline for abstract submission (max 300 words): 1 June 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Deadline paper submission (max 3500 words): 15 October 2013.
Papers will be distributed before the workshop and each presenter will be appointed a main commentator.
DATE: 7th–8th November 2013.
VENUE: University of Oslo, Norway.
Tone Druglitrø (TIK, UiO) and Kristian Bjørkdahl (SUM, UiO).
The workshop is hosted by the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK) and Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), both at the University of Oslo.
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